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Footprints - Imperial Invasion

The Romans invaded North Wales in AD49. The local tribe, the Deceangli, were quickly subdued.  By AD79 the Romans had built a legionary fortress at Chester from where they dominated north-east Wales.

Roman antefix tile made at the legionary tile works, Holt - © The British Museum

The legionaries established a workshop producing tiles and pottery at Holt. The Holt works were at peak production supplying the 20th Legion between AD87-135, and pottery production continued into the 3rd century.  One of the reasons for the Roman invasion was Britain’s natural resources. The Romans mined lead from Halkyn mountain in Flintshire, and the settlement at Ffrith was probably connected to lead mining.

Roman altar featuring Atropes, the goddess of fate, found at Gresford Parish Church. - ©National Monuments Record of Wales

The recent discovery of a civilian settlement at Plas Coch, Wrexham, suggests Wrexham’s origins lie in the Roman period. Excavations revealed two grain drying kilns and evidence of pottery manufacture. Finds from the site include pottery from France and coins from the period c. AD150 –350.